Texas Politics and the Fax Revolution Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This article analyzes the adoption and use of the fax machine to illustrate how information technology has altered the organizing process and conduct of electoral and legislative politics in Texas. The major groups studied are election campaigns, political parties, the legislature, and lobbyists. Faxing allows campaigns to do more, stay more informed, and disseminate information far more quickly and accurately than before. Consequently, the political process has accelerated significantly compared with five or ten years ago. Most obviously, the cycle for political news has shrunk from days to hours or minutes, forcing campaigns to be more organized and responsive. Faxing also enables organizations to generate a unified political theme statewide easily and quickly, creating the semblance, if not the reality, of a grassroots movement. Faxing gives centralized organizations the ability to appear decentralized and decentralized organizations the ability to act in a coordinated manner. Furthermore, faxing has increased the "technology gap" in politics. Republicans and conservative groups have proven more adept than Democrats at integrating fax machines into their operations, displaying greater strategic and tactical imagination. This divide extends into other information technologies and reflects larger cultural and historical differences between the parties.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Coopersmith, J.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • March 1996